When playing FM I like to think outside of the box and I follow no rules or patterns about anything tactical related. So when I am searching for a player I tend to think differently and focus on attributes rather than the position someone plays. This can throw up some very interesting results, it’s not unusual for me to take a striker and make him a fullback or take an attacking midfielder and make him a ball playing defender. It’s part of something I’ve done for as long as I can remember when I play long term games and squad build. With this in mind, I thought I’d share my thinking and show you more about what I’m talking about. I know some people already do similar things but I’ve spoken to a lot of people who would never consider this too, so hopefully this can show you just how beneficial it can be.
In the tactic I use, I plan to make the most of the deep lying forward role. Not only that but I’m ignoring the games recommended attributes needed for the role and going for what I want and need from the role instead. The deep lying forward role is everything the target man role should be imo. The roles aren’t actually that different apart from the deep lying forward being more creative, but he doesn’t need to be. When I want to use a target man I always use this role instead because it offers so much more but is still as useful and will do everything you’d expect the TM role to do. So what I do is breakdown the things I need the role to do and base the attributes the player needs off that. In this case that would be;
Pace/acceleration – The player will be deep and bursting forward.
Strength – As I play in England I suspect most teams will have a defensive midfielder. So I need someone who can handle himself if the game becomes physical which I expect it will.
Work Rate – He’ll need to work his socks off.
Team Work – I need him to understand that he isn’t an individual and that he does have team mates and should work with them as much as he can.
Composure – I need someone who won’t get flustered when on the ball and rush his decision making as he’ll be in important areas of the pitch. So it’s vital he can hold his nerve when being bullied physically or when he gets close to goal etc.
Vision – The player needs to be able to see all available options currently on for him.
That’s all the things that I need, these are what I call vitals and the player I look to buy should have the majority of the attributes listed above over all the others he has. If he doesn’t then he won’t work like I need him to.
Now you’ve got to remember I’m down in League One and don’t have much money available. If I sell all the clauses currently active then I have around £1 million to spend. So immediately this limits who I can afford to bring in and who actually wants to join me.
With all this in mind I set up some filters on the player search to see if I could find the player I was looking for; I decided to search for all the attributes I mentioned and set the filter to be 13 minimum for each attribute.
I found these 35 players;
None of these are ever going to join me, they’ll beg me to join in a few seasons when I’m winning titles but not yet! So now I had a dilemma and had to change my approach. I decided I’d untick one attribute at a time and see if that brought up any interesting players. First up I did the search without work rate and it threw up no results.Second I searched for for all the attributes excluding teamwork and this time, to my surprise, I had a hit;
I immediately looked at his profile and this is what I saw;
I was pleasantly surprised as he ticks all the boxes I want but his teamwork is lower than I’d have liked. Was this an issue? Not really as his other attributes are far greater than I was expecting and due to the level I play at I’m not going to find the perfect player unless I’m lucky. What you have to do at these levels is make sacrifices and get players who have some or most of the requirements you need. So in a nutshell he was more than perfect for what I was looking for. There is a major drawback though;
He’s a leftback!! Is this a major issue? Not at all and isn’t something that would ever stop me buying a player. You can always retrain them. It’s not unusual for me to retrain people to positions you’d not normally expect them to play. Ganso on FM14 I turned into a ball playing defender/Libero and I’m always retraining newgens who are strikers to be full backs, deep-lying playmakers or something similar. So this isn’t off-putting at all.
Now I’ve identified the player I want I need to bring him to the club. Palace want 750k for him which I don’t have at this minute but will in a few days when I shift people on. So what I did was place a bid for him but to get him on loan. Getting him on loan is better than missing out on him completely for now.
I actually posted a picture of this player on Twitter a few weeks ago and said I saw him as my ideal striker and a lot of people mocked me and picked up on things like his off the ball, decisions, technique, passing, agility etc was all low. It’s true they are, but it doesn’t always matter if the player can do the job you require of him. I felt he can do that easily even though he isn’t the world’s greatest player. Plus if he was any better he’d not be willing to come to me would he? He’s still 19 so should have room to improve and tide me over until I can afford and attract better quality. I think people miss this point at times and always look at players being the complete player already and dismiss other players due to what his attributes are like even if he excels at a particular area like the above player. In fact I actually only ended up getting him in the end because the negativity I received spurred me on and made me want to show people just how good he could be doing the things I need. Hopefully I can show that a little further in the article 🙂
Within a few days of getting him on-loan I was able to shift some deadwood and raise the funds I needed (it was actually more a wage problem than the transfer fee) and bought him straight away while he was already on loan with me. Once I’d purchased him that’s when the real work starts by training him in a new position and developing his attributes to further the demand I have for the role he’ll be playing at the club.
This is how I decided I’d train him;
The focus is set to that of a target man as that’s how I want him to act, so this schedule will further work on the attributes needed overall. The attributes this role works on are;
Some of those attributes are already high so long term I may find myself changing it again or even in a few months time once he’s accomplished as a striker. I could then focus on individual attributes on a three month rotation for a while. But for the immediate future this is what I’ve chosen especially as most of the training time I allocated to positional training instead to try and make him a striker as quickly as possible.
Some of you will probably be wondering why I want to use a deep lying forward who is different to the normal and what benefits it can bring. So let me show you a few examples of what I expect from the individual and what he actually delivers during a match.
This screenshot shows why I value a more physical type of player rather than a creative minded one for the deep lying role. Ideally the perfect player would be creative and strong.
He is occupying two defenders here in this screenshot so his strength and physicality will help here. It means he should be able to hold his own and not be bullied too badly off the ball compared to someone more dainty!
This is him during the same move a few seconds later;
He’s about to dart to where the arrow is pointing to in the hope he gets on the end of the cross that’s just happened. This is where his acceleration comes into play and gives him the initial burst of speed he needs, pace would be used if the run was long distance but over short distances it’s acceleration that counts the most.
And this is him about to tap it into the net;
He has to deal with the challenge of the keeper and the two defenders covering here. So again he needs to be physical to be able to win the ball and get to it in these situations. This was also a reason why I needed someone who was composed and not panic or get flustered in these situations, meaning he wouldn’t rush his decision making or be put off by the keeper and defenders.
Not bad for a rubbish left back eh?!! 🙂
The above sort of move happens a lot. I was going to add a lot more analysis but then I had the idea of doing this for every single player in my squad to give a real sense of what players do during the game, how they all link up and what jobs they really do. So these will be part of a more detailed analysis series at a later date and will feature a lot more about this player too.